NHL: OCT 08 NHL Seattle Press Conference
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Seattle was officially awarded the NHL's 32nd franchise on Tuesday thanks to unanimous vote of the approval from the league's Board of Governors. Seattle's franchise will join the league starting with the 2021-22 season. 

We don't know a lot about the team's plans as of yet, only that they'll be playing at a renovated KeyArena (former home of the SuperSonics) in downtown Seattle and that they'll be joining the Western Conference's Pacific division. (The Arizona Coyotes will shift to the Central.)

Maybe the biggest question surrounding the team at the moment is what they'll be called. The team's ownership group -- led by by billionaire businessman David Bonderman -- said they'll take their time deciding on a team name, but that certainly hasn't stopped early speculation and input.

Earlier this year, the Seattle Times polled fans over the course of a month asking what their vote would be regarding the team name. Over 140,000 votes were cast and a number of popular options emerged. Four team names advanced to the final few rounds of voting, with two going head-to-head in the fourth and final round. Here's how things shook out:

  • 1st place: Seattle Sockeyes (37,543 total votes)
  • 2nd place: Seattle Totems (30,140)
  • 3rd place: Seattle Metropolitans (24,859)
  • 4th place: Seattle Steelheads (18,700)

There were several other early-round options, including the Kraken, Sasquatch, Freeze, Emeralds, Pilots, Grunge, and Cascades. Also, the Fightin' Geoducks. (Yes, really.)

Seattle has a hockey history with a few of the top options in the Times' poll. The Seattle Totems were a pro hockey franchise in the Western Hockey League from 1958–74, then in the Central Hockey League from 1974-1975. The Seattle Metropolitans, which seems to be an early leader in the clubhouse as far as pure speculation goes, played in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1915-1924. In 1917, the Metropolitans became the first American team to ever win the Stanley Cup.

The sockeye salmon is a popular fish found throughout Washington that clearly holds a favorable place in the hearts of Seattle fans.  

For what it's worth, Bovada currently has the Totems listed as a strong betting favorite.

It'll likely be a while until we get any real movement on an official name, but for now we'll have to keep busy by monitoring trademark registries and such.